KC approves tuition, fee bump

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Kilgore College students will be paying more to attend classes next semester – students who live in the district will pay $6 more for each credit hour, out-of-district students will pay $8 more per hour.

Tuition will increase by $4 for in-district students and $6 for out-of-district students with the general education fee, which is the same for all students, increasing by $2.

Even with the tuition and fee increases, Kilgore College will remain one of the lowest-cost community college in the area, KC officials said.

When considering the tuition and fee increases, KC Investment, Finance and Audit Committee Chair Joe Carrington said, the committee looked at the cost of seven other competitors in the area for in-district and out-of-district fees.

“We looked at Tyler, Northeast Texas, Angelina, Texarkana, Trinity Valley, Paris, Panola as our primary competitors, so to speak, in our area,” he said during Monday’s board meeting, noting Kilgore College’s 2017-2018 in-district rate of $73 was the lowest of all eight colleges in the northeast Texas region.

The approved increase will move KC’s in-district tuition rate to $79, moving it into the second-lowest spot, one dollar more Panola College’s rate of $78.

Of the eight colleges, Tyler Junior College ranked as the most expensive at $95.

KC’s out-of-district rate was and will remain in the middle of the eight-college list, moving to $158 for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Typically, the college tries to keep a 2-to-1 ratio for tuition increase – out-if district students would pay twice as much as in-district enrollees -- but that is not the case this year, Carrington said. The reason is because continuing that into the 2018-2019 year would move KC to the top of the list as one of the most expensive colleges for out-of-district students.

The increases will generate about $1 million for the college with $422,000 of that from tuition increases and $600,000 from the course and special fee increases.

That money will then be invested in students and faculty, Carrington said, noting the college’s salary scale is lagging behind the other area colleges.

“We want to make sure we’re investing those funds into students and student success,” he told the board.

The $1 million will be used to improve the college outside the potential plans included in the $18.5 million McKinstry project discussed during last week’s Property and Facilities Committee.

“That’s outside the tuition increase,” he said. “We found ways to fund that without increasing tuition for that.”

With no second required because of its nature as a committee recommendation, the board approved the recommended increases unanimously 8-0 with James Walker absent.

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